Siriwardena confident about change of fortunes

Sri Lanka captain Shashikala Siriwardena is confident of a change of fortunes for her side during the upcoming ICC Women’s World Cup India 2013. Siriwardena believes her side’s bowling attack gives her hope of a good show at the tournament that begins on 31 January in Mumbai.*

“We couldn’t do well at ICC World Twenty20 due to our batting failure. It was tough to lose like that on our home soil. We believe in our potential and are confident of doing well (at the ICC Women’s World Cup). What gives us hope is our previous performances and winning ratio in ODIs. I have a lot of belief in our bowlers as they have proved themselves throughout the year. Considering our previous performances, adapting to the fifty-over format will also not be an issue,” reckoned Siriwardena

Sri Lanka is currently involved in a domestic one-day tournament and the side may also play a few practice games against a few boys’ sides before they travel to India for the tournament. Playing in India will be a challenge and Siriwardena is confident that her side can live up to the challenge at hand.

“We haven’t played in India since the 2006 Asia Cup. I remember us doing well there. Playing in Asia always feels like we are at home. Whatever the conditions we have to adjust as soon as possible, hopefully it will be much easier to adjust in India than any country,” said Siriwardena.

Sri Lanka is drawn in Group A alongside England, West Indies and host India. Sri Lanka begins its campaign against defending champion England on 2 February at the Wankhede Stadium, also the venue of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 final.

“We haven’t played that much against England. But we are hoping to do our best against them. Charlotte Edwards, Sarah Taylor, Katherine Brunt and Laura Marsh are the ones to watch out for,” opined Siriwardena.

Of the other sides in the group, Siriwardena had this to say: “We haven’t won any match against India so far, but have fought well and had a few close games earlier in ODIs. We all know Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami and Poonam Raut are their (India’s) key players. We have a good record against West Indies in ODIs, a 60% of winning ratio. So we have confidence of doing well against them. Stafanie Taylor, Deandra Dottin, and Anisa Mohammad are the key players in the side.”

There will be quite a few new faces added to Sri Lanka’s squad for the tournament considering the change in format: “Chamari Athapattu is a top order batter who has huge potential of playing hard and long innings. Chamani Senevirathne is an experienced all?rounder, then there is left-arm spinner Inoka Ranaweera who did very well in the ICC World Twenty20 and Asia Cup 2012,” said Siriwardena summing up her squad.

The tournament will also be Siriwardena’s third as a player and the Sri Lanka captain is keen to make it count for the team.

“It’s a great thing to play in a World Cup as it means a lot to me. This might well be my last and I will definitely try my best to make something special for my country. When I started my cricket career my dream was to play a World Cup. Winning the title was my next target. So I am still trying my best to win this and if that happens it will the biggest moment in my life.”

The full fixtures for the ICC Women’s World Cup India 2013 can be found here.

(Courtesy: International Cricket Council)